An Intercomparison of VLF and Sounding Rocket Techniques for Measuring the Daytime D Region Ionosphere: Theoretical Implications

D.E. Siskind, K.A. Zawdie, Fabrizio Sassi, D. Drob, Martin Friedrich

Publikation: Beitrag in einer FachzeitschriftArtikelForschungBegutachtung

Abstract

We compare the two approaches that have been used to measure the lowermost ionosphere, the measurement of the wave propagation of very low frequency (VLF) radio waves and the in situ sampling by sounding rockets. We focus on the altitude, latitude and zenith angle variation of the electron density profiles inferred from these two observational techniques as compared with a theoretical electron density model. Our results show that below 68 - 70 km, the VLF data and the model agree better with each other than with the sounding rocket profile. At the lowest altitudes, near 60 km, both the VLF data and the model show greater electron density at higher latitudes, consistent with cosmic ray flux that incrfeases with latitude, whereas the limited rocket data show a maximum at tropical latitudes, the model fails to reproduce the observations. Specifically, the calculated electron density is lower than the data by up to a factor of 2. Possible reasons for the model deficit include underestimate of the solar Lyman alpha flux, the solar X-ray flux and the mesospheric nitric oxide density. Once these three factors are mitigated, the model is in agreement with the observations between 60 and 80 km.
Spracheenglisch
Seiten8688-8697
Seitenumfang10
FachzeitschriftJournal of Geophysical Research / Space physics
Jahrgang123
Ausgabennummer10
DOIs
StatusVeröffentlicht - 2018

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D region
Sounding rockets
sounding rockets
very low frequencies
Ionosphere
daytime
ionospheres
ionosphere
electrons
Fluxes
Carrier concentration
radio waves
electron density
Tropics
Radio waves
Cosmic rays
low altitude
zenith
nitric oxide
Rockets

Schlagwörter

  • ionosphere atmosphere

Dies zitieren

An Intercomparison of VLF and Sounding Rocket Techniques for Measuring the Daytime D Region Ionosphere: Theoretical Implications. / Siskind, D.E.; Zawdie, K.A.; Sassi, Fabrizio; Drob, D.; Friedrich, Martin.

in: Journal of Geophysical Research / Space physics, Jahrgang 123, Nr. 10, 2018, S. 8688-8697.

Publikation: Beitrag in einer FachzeitschriftArtikelForschungBegutachtung

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T1 - An Intercomparison of VLF and Sounding Rocket Techniques for Measuring the Daytime D Region Ionosphere: Theoretical Implications

AU - Siskind, D.E.

AU - Zawdie, K.A.

AU - Sassi, Fabrizio

AU - Drob, D.

AU - Friedrich, Martin

PY - 2018

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N2 - We compare the two approaches that have been used to measure the lowermost ionosphere,the measurement of the propagation of very low frequency (VLF) radio waves and the in situ samplingby sounding rockets. We focus on the altitude, latitude, and zenith angle variation of the electron densityprofiles inferred from these two observational techniques as compared with a theoretical photochemicalmodel. Our results show that below 68–70 km, the VLF data and the model agree better with each otherthan with the sounding rocket profile. At the lowest altitudes, near 60 km, both the VLF data and the modelshow a greater electron density at higher latitudes, consistent with a cosmic ray flux that increases withlatitude, whereas the limited rocket data show a maximum at the tropics. Above 68–70 km, the VLF data andthe sounding rockets agree better and at tropical latitudes, the model fails to reproduce the observations.Specifically, the calculated electron density is lower than the data by up to a factor of 2. Possible reasonsfor the model deficit include underestimates of the solar Lyman alpha flux, the solar X-ray flux and themesospheric nitric oxide density. Once these three factors are mitigated, the model is in agreement with theobservations between 60 and 80 km.

AB - We compare the two approaches that have been used to measure the lowermost ionosphere,the measurement of the propagation of very low frequency (VLF) radio waves and the in situ samplingby sounding rockets. We focus on the altitude, latitude, and zenith angle variation of the electron densityprofiles inferred from these two observational techniques as compared with a theoretical photochemicalmodel. Our results show that below 68–70 km, the VLF data and the model agree better with each otherthan with the sounding rocket profile. At the lowest altitudes, near 60 km, both the VLF data and the modelshow a greater electron density at higher latitudes, consistent with a cosmic ray flux that increases withlatitude, whereas the limited rocket data show a maximum at the tropics. Above 68–70 km, the VLF data andthe sounding rockets agree better and at tropical latitudes, the model fails to reproduce the observations.Specifically, the calculated electron density is lower than the data by up to a factor of 2. Possible reasonsfor the model deficit include underestimates of the solar Lyman alpha flux, the solar X-ray flux and themesospheric nitric oxide density. Once these three factors are mitigated, the model is in agreement with theobservations between 60 and 80 km.

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